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Glossary - G



Galilee - The northern part of the land of Palestine. Jesus grew up in the town of Nazareth, in Galilee, and did a lot of his teaching ministry here.

Gallus (plural-Galli) - Priests of Cybele and Attis.

Gamla - Aramic, meaning "camel", because from a distance this ridge in the Golan Heights (Gaulanitis) looks like a camel's hump. Located north and east of the Sea of Galilee. Home to nationalistic Pharisees (Zealots) who sought deliverance from Roman oppression and probably were responsible for the frequent questions to Jesus regarding the nature of his kingship and an ongoing desire to appoint him king. After a brutal battle, the city fell to Vespian in AD 67. Josephus recorded that 9,000 people died rather than surrender to the Romans.

Gan - Garden; or terraced hillside, sometimes containing a number of different fruit trees like olive, fig, and grape.

Gath - One of the five Philistine city-states. Goliath was born here.

Gat shemen - Olive (shemen) press (gat) From which we get the term "gethsemene".

Gaza - One of the five Philistine city-states. Samsom was born here.

Gehenna - Valley to the west of Jerusalem that was at one time the city sewage dump and the place where Judean kings sacrificed their children. This valley, with its filth, rottenness, and burning flesh, came to symbolize hell.

Gennesaret - See Sea of Galilee.

Gethsemane - The word gethsemane is derived from two Hebrew words: gat, which means "a place for pressing oil (or wine)", and shemanim, which means "oils". During Jesus' time, heavy stone slabs were lowered onto olives that had already been crushed in an olive crusher. The slab's weight squeezed the olive oil out of the pulp, and the oil was collected. The image of the gethsemane on the slope of the Mount of Olives where Jesus went the night before his crucifixion provides a vivid picture of his suffering. The weight of the world's sins pressed down upon him like the heavy slab of the olive crusher. His sweat, "like drops of blood falling to the ground" (Luke 22:44), flowed from him like olive oil.

Gentiles - Means "nations." A Gentile is any one who is not a Jew. God's plan of salvation begins with the chosen nation of Israel, and then moves to include all the nations of the earth.

Gezer - City that controlled the Via Maris trade route. It was located near the coastal plain and the Aijalon Valley.

Gilead Mountains - Mountains east of the Jordan Valley between the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee.

Goliath - Perhaps the most well-known Philistine soldier. He taunted the Israelites and ridiculed God, but fell when David threw a stone.

Gomorrah - City near the southern end of the Dead Sea that God destroyed because of its wickedness, which included oppression of the poor.

Gospel - Means "good news." The gospel is the message about how Jesus defeated evil. He died and then became alive again to make us new and give us hope for the future.

Great Rift Valley - Valley east of Israel where the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea are located. Also known as the Jordan Valley.

Grotto of Pan - A cult center to the fertility god Pan at Caesarea Philippi.

Gymnasium - Greek and Roman schools.

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